Quentin Tarantino puts his interests on screen — a man of heart and sole, you might say. His predilection for feet is so famous that Brad Pitt joked about it at the SAG Awards, saying the filmmaker “has separated more women from their shoes than the TSA.” When he was asked about it in a new interview with GQ, the filmmaker reportedly sighed and said, “That’s just good direction.”

As Tarantino explained, he shrugs off the criticism. “I don’t take it seriously. There’s a lot of feet in a lot of good directors’ movies.” Ever the historian, he also gave a brief discourse on directors going toe-to-toe with their interests. “Like, before me, the person foot fetishism was defined by was Luis Buñuel, another film director. And Hitchcock was accused of it and Sofia Coppola has been accused of it.” In other words, critics can put a sock in it.

Tarantino continues to be one of the most quotable filmmakers around. Over the summer, he raised eyebrows when he said he wouldn’t give his mother even a “penny” after she insulted one of his early screenwriting efforts. He recently purchased the Vista Theatre in Los Angeles, and published a novelization of his ninth film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — both of which contain their fair share of bare feet. The 58-year-old  also recently doubled-down on his plan to retire after his next film, saying, “I know film history, and from here on end, directors do not get better.”